Why do we care so much about the Oscars?

What that little gold man really says about our movie-going tastes and preferences – and what it doesn’t.

The Oscars are the undisputed juggernaut of the Hollywood awards season, capping off a series of self-congratulatory ceremonies every year and imbuing – for what it’s worth – an inherent value to its winners and nominees that goes beyond a simple award.

As much as we always wring our hands and rant and rave over who should be nominated (and win), the cultural cachet associated with these little gold statuettes has only gotten more pronounced. Even as box office numbers have declined and the movie-going audience has splintered, Hollywood still puts on the same show with the same pomp and circumstance each year – and we still get up in arms about who deserved to win and didn’t.

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